Chapter 5:

restart

Convergence. Eli and Ama.


"I'm on your side," Anna declared.

"Sorry?" I asked, my confusion evident.

We remained on the shoulder of the road near the station, bathed in the perpetual stream of car lights.

"I've heard about how you wanted to overthrow Karina in the upcoming election. I know what my sister is capable of, and while I may not care about her actions, I refuse to tread the precarious path she weaves," Anna explained.

"So... you're willing to go along with Tsuda's plan?" I questioned.

"Don't be silly. I don't want to be known as a girl who is unilaterally attacked on her second day of school," Anna stated firmly.

I averted my gaze, feeling a pang of guilt.

Anna let out a sigh as she wrapped her hand with boxing tape. "Have you ever tried Muay Thai?" she asked.

If I didn’t learn this world’s martial arts before, I'm gonna guess it's some kind of beverage.

"...It would be a lie if I said I'm not irritated with you. And I just can’t simply let it go without doing something to what I feel," Anna continued. "Come with me."

"..Don't tell me..." Suspicion lingered in my mind. It had already been a tiring day, and I wasn't sure if I had the energy to engage in another fight.

"Don't worry, we'll fight fair and square. The gym where I train is nearby," Anna reassured him nonchalantly.

"...In that case, I won't hold back," I halfheartedly replied, attempting to bolster my own spirits.

"Sure sure..."

---

30 minutes later

Anna and I walked out of the gym, both of us showing signs of exhaustion. The people passing by couldn't help but notice our weary expressions and worn-out postures.

Although I managed to land a few hits on Anna, my face bore the evidence of her intense martial arts training, with bruises and scratches serving as reminders of her skill.

"Is this your plan to patch up Tsuda's scheme?" I asked her.

"Not exactly. It's more for my own satisfaction," Anna replied while loosening her neck.

We walked unsteadily, our breaths short. The station that seemed so close before now felt distant.

"Listen, I really am sorry," I said with seriousness.

"Yeah.." Anna responded.

With that, I ran out of conversation topics.

"Amaya... are you friends with her?" I asked.

"Why do you ask?" Anna inquired.

"No... I just… thought it would be nice if you keep talking with her from now on, I mean…"

"I know. We attended the same middle school," She replied instantly.

"We were in different classes, and I could only observe her from a distance, so I have a general understanding of her situation. Since we're in the same class now, I thought it wouldn't hurt to try getting closer to her, but..." She paused, taking a deep breath.

"Who would have thought her bodyguard would be so sensitive to harmless tease from girls."

"I’m sorry," I expressed regret, continuing to avert my gaze. "When you turned around and tried to run away, I thought..."

"Yeah, yeah... I don't blame you for misinterpreting my non-friendly expression. I'm sorry about that," Anna said sarcastically.

"I’m sorry..." I apologized again, still avoiding eye contact.

"Actually, initially I thought if it was going too far, I would just buy her a new meal to replace the one we eat... but I didn't expect she made the meal herself for you. I apologize for that," Anna explained.

"It's alright, really. You can still buy me food to replace it," I said, trying to be friendly, considering my mission to build a good relationship with Anna.

"You.. don't say that to me in front of her you know..," Anna suddenly said sarcastically.

"Huh? But earlier you said..."

A gentle breeze whispered through the streets, carrying with it a soothing calmness. The dimly lit street lamps cast a soft glow, casting elongated shadows on the pavement. The distant sound of passing cars and the occasional chatter of pedestrians created a gentle background symphony.

"Mitsu and Kawahara... they're good girls. Don't you dare lay a finger on them," she warned,

"Yeah... I've learned my lesson," I replied, pointing to the bruises that she had left on me.

"Pfft. Haha," Anna suddenly burst into a light laugh. It caught me off guard, as her usual expression had been stern and serious. I never expected her to show such a lighthearted expression.

Later, the silence between Me and Anna was no longer strained but rather carried a newfound understanding.

---

As I stepped through the front door, exhaustion weighed heavily upon me. The events of the day had taken their toll, leaving me drained both physically and emotionally. But as I entered the house, a warm and comforting aroma enveloped me, instantly easing the weariness in my bones.

There, at the dinner table, sat my grandma, peacefully asleep. Her silver hair gently cascaded over her face, and a soft smile graced her lips.

The table was adorned with the finest dishes, the result of Grandma's unwavering dedication and love. Each plate held a delicately prepared meal, a testament to her culinary prowess. She had been waiting for me, making sure I returned home safely.

I quietly approached the table, careful not to disturb Grandma's slumber.

---

The following day, as I made my way to school, it was as I had anticipated. Other students cast glances in my direction, their eyes filled with judgment. Sure, I was the student who had hit a girl on their first day of school. To make matters worse, my arm sling, became a visible reminder of my wilderness, I guess.

This time, I was grateful that I didn't encounter Amaya on the way to class—I didn't want to drag her into the spotlight.

"Eli...!" A soft voice called out, reaching my ears from behind.

Before the voice could reach me, I turned around abruptly. "Woah!" She exclaimed, taken aback.

"Huh?" I was just as surprised.

Amaya was on her way to school, carrying five lunch boxes with her. It seemed to be her way of making amends with her friends from yesterday.

While I pondered her kindness with a sense of relief, her hands hovered around my arm sling and bruised face, torn between her concern and fear of touching my bruises.

Thankfully, at least I didn't have to worry about how she would handle her own class later.

"I'll give it to you later... but... not in a crowded place," Amaya said, engaging in casual conversation.

"No, I'll just come to your class. There's something I need to say there."

Amaya nodded, understanding my intentions.

After bidding farewell, I entered the classroom, greeted by the gazes of my fellow students—a reception that was even worse than the day before.

---

During the break, after offering my apologies for causing the commotion and tarnishing the class's reputation, I immediately headed toward Amaya's classroom. I was accompanied by a representative from my own class, someone I didn't expect—Yoru.

As I stepped into the classroom, a few students seemed to take a hesitant step back, as if preparing to escape from my presence. I couldn't blame them.

"Excuse me, everyone... I apologize for interrupting your time. Elias, here, who you all know, caused quite a disturbance here yesterday—" Yoru assisted me in delivering my apology to the class. However, my attention was captivated by Amaya, who was gently applying a bandage to Anna's forehead, while two of Anna's friends wore expressions of concern after catching sight of me.

---

Everyone listened to my apology, including the fabricated excuses I slipped in. Then, their attention shifted towards Anna, as if seeking her perspective as the victim of yesterday's event.

"Huh? Can't you see the bruise on his face? he received his fair share too, I did that" Anna voiced with conviction. I turned my gaze away, noticing the lingering bloodstain on the floor from yesterday's incident. Silently, my foot discreetly rubbed against the discolored spot out of embarrassment.

"Besides..." Anna rose from her seat, her tone nonchalant, "...none of you need to pity either of us." With a determined stride, she approached me.

"After all..." she continued, followed by a sudden and unexpected action—she wrapped her arm around mine. I was taken aback by the sudden contact. But what truly caught me off guard were the words that escaped her mouth next.

She looked directly at her classmates, with her poker face, boldly declared, "We're dating."

"Huh?" Yoru, the closest one was the first to react.

"Wha-?" two of Anna's friends followed suit.

"eeeeEEEEEEHHH?!" That was the loudest sound I had ever heard coming from Amaya in public.

Shulox
icon-reaction-2
Syed Al Wasee
icon-reaction-3
minatika
icon-reaction-3